It is very easy to get yourself into debt. Everywhere you look; companies are promoting credit cards of all colours, shapes and sizes. They tell you all about how good they are but do nothing about reminding you that they are going to cost you money. And a lot of it. It should be like smoking. Every credit card should carry a large warning on the front of it ‘CAN DAMAGE YOUR WEALTH’. Unless you are very good at avoiding these marketing techniques, then you likely have at least one credit card in your wallet. And it doesn’t stop there. It became fashionable to get a new credit card with zero interest on it, and then when your interest free period expired, transfer it to another card. Great idea you think! No! In reality what happens is you now have two credit cards in your wallet and it doesn’t take long for you to realise this and start using both of them. Disaster.
It gets to all of us. If we then for some reason find ourselves with reduced income and unable to manage the repayments, we can start to lose control and fall into the ever increasing spiral of debt. If you have found yourself in this predicament, and maybe found help via one of the debt-help charities, you know what it is like. You have had your fingers well and truly burned. But if all of your credit cards have been cut up, your cheque book shredded and your overdraft sent off to never-never land, what do you do when you have a temporary cash shortage?
No credit card for you. In fact no more credit. You have crossed the point of no-return and have to spend the next 10 years or so of your life paying back all that you owe. So what if you have a cash dilemma? Wonga offer an alternative to a payday loan. They can help you, even if your credit is poor as they do not carry out traditional credit checks. Of course they will look at your cash liquidity and your earnings etc., but as you are limited to borrowing less than £400 for no more than 28 days, you will likely find that you will be accepted. You will not be adding to your debts as you have to pay back the amount in full on a pre-agreed date. The company will then take the sum due out of your nominated bank account without you having to raise a finger. So, unless there are no funds in your account, your debt will be cleared in full. No putting off until tomorrow what you can pay back today. It’s a simple and straightforward way of coping when funds are short. The great thing is, even if you are tempted to do so, you cannot put off the payback time. It’s all about being responsible for your actions and accepting the fact that money is hard to come by.
Recently, I found out that I will be getting a financial windfall. Apparently several years ago (as in almost 20), there was a mistake with social security withholding during graduate school. There ended up being audits and court cases, etc. I simply provided some information that confirmed I was indeed a student at the time and gave the auditor permission to handle the rest. I think the IRS got involved. This all started several years ago.
Well, I got notice that I would be getting a check toward the end of this month. Assuming that I actually see it, the amount is not all that small. The money was actually put in escrow in an interest bearing account and actually doubled during the time that this has been going on.
Plans for the Money
Needless to say, the money will come at a good time. I am working on paying off debt and feel that I am in a good frame of mind to be able to accept this money and not do anything stupid with it. I plan on using the funds (since they weren’t expected) to pay off one of my credit cards and to pay the property taxes on the commercial building that will be coming due in May.
This will help me keep on track with my goal to eliminate consumer debt in another 34 months and provide some extra cushion so I don’t have to scramble for the tax money. The timing couldn’t be better.
It is about time for some good news.
It has been forever since I linked to the carnivals that have featured my blogs so here goes:
It has been quite the busy month of February as you can tell from my lack of posting. I have been trying to negotiate and restructure a deal with a partner in the commercial building that we own (or rather bank owns). He is the tenant and wanted to construct the building since he was tired of paying rent to someone else. It makes sense on paper, but when the economy struggles then having lower fixed costs make the most sense.
Taking Over the Building
Since I had quite a bit invested in the building, I determined it would be better to suck it up and just take it over entirely than to let things languish like they had for the past several months. I would have ultimately born some of the responsibility anyway so it is better to get it under control now, get in the bankers’ good graces and figure out some more solutions down the road if necessary.
But it will hamper the debt payoff plan. You can read more about that at my newest blog, Shredding Debt. Despite that, I still plan on being aggressive and will see what I can accomplish over the next 3 years. I will know more once the building payments are caught up and I can see what my budget and cash flow will look like the rest of the year.
At least the money that is spent will create some real estate losses and lower my tax bill so the ultimate impact may not be as bad as it could be. Plus I will have 100% control of the asset so that when it is paid off, I will be in great shape. It is just the journey that might be tricky.
Looking Forward to Learning
I do look forward to learning more about the commercial real estate business and making new contacts. I think it will be a great experience that can only help me as I continue to become more involved in real estate. Ultimately, I would like to own more property. It will probably be after the consumer debt is paid off and some more of the kids move out of the house. But having something to do with my time after I retire from my full-time employment will be very good.